ClickCease Extended Lifecycle Support for Ubuntu 18.04

Just like every Ubuntu LTS release, Ubuntu 18.04 receives five full years of standard support from Canonical, keeping you up to date with security patches up until the end of Ubuntu Standard Support – which expires soon, in March 2023.

You need to switch to Ubuntu 20.04 or 22.04 before then. If you’re unable to switch your Ubuntu instances in time (and migrating in a rush is never a good idea), you need to sign up for Ubuntu Advantage with extended security maintenance – but Ubuntu Advantage isn’t cheap.

Ignoring the deadline and not doing anything is the only option you don’t have. After March 2023, unsupported Ubuntu 18.04 versions become vulnerable to new exploits, which will put your data at risk.

Don’t risk it.

Discover now how TuxCare’s Extended Lifecycle Support (ELS) buys you more time to migrate to Ubuntu 20.04.

Understanding Ubuntu End of Life (EOL)

An operating system (OS) reaches EOL when the software vendor no longer produces patches for updates and problems found in the OS – including security risks.

With Ubuntu, EOL happens in two stages: first, when free standard support ends, then five years after a long-term support (LTS) release is published. At that point, anyone relying on free support for Ubuntu will lose that service.

Only Ubuntu users paying for Ubuntu Advantage, a relatively expensive and comprehensive support package, will continue to receive security updates for another five years – thanks to the included extended security maintenance, after which support under Ubuntu Advantage also ends.

Ubuntu release 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) is now at the point in the Ubuntu release cycle where standard support will soon be suspended.

The risks of running EOL Ubuntu releases

If you use Ubuntu 18.04, you need to start thinking about what you’re going to do before March 2023. You cannot, however, consider running Ubuntu 18.04 EOL workloads past standard support availability without a strategy.

New vulnerabilities are constantly found in the Linux kernel and in the various components of popular Linux distributions, including Ubuntu.

There are no patches for unsupported distributions, which means any workload relying on an unsupported OS is at far greater risk of a successful cyberattack.

Flipping a switch and rapidly migrating to Ubuntu version 20.04 isn’t an option either, because if you don’t thoroughly test before you migrate, you create a significant risk of something going wrong.

What is TuxCare’s Extended Lifecycle Support?

TuxCare provides extended security including ongoing patches and fixes that replace official vendor support. Called Extended Lifecycle Support, it covers Ubuntu LTS release 16.04 for the same patches and fixes you’d receive from Canonical.

With TuxCare you can secure Ubuntu Xenial Xerus past the official end of life date. Extended Lifecycle Support is available as a standalone service that helps protect your workloads against critical security risks, at just $4.25 per machine per month. That is significantly less than Ubuntu’s extended support alternative – Ubuntu Advantage.

In other words, you can get vendor-grade fixes and patches that match what you received while Ubuntu 18.04 was officially supported – and that will protect you against security threats just as well as Ubuntu Advantage.

Act now to protect your Ubuntu 16.04 servers and get additional time to migrate to Ubuntu 20.04 or your preferred distribution. With TuxCare, you get:

Fast delivery times that quickly supply security patches when a new CVE is reported, making sure your Ubuntu release 18.04 workloads are safe against new threats.
Zero tooling changes, because updates work just like they did before. You can continue to use the same tools and scripts that you already have in place, with TuxCare providing a new repository for your updates.
Technical account management as well as 24/7 support through the TuxCare ticketing system.
Top expertise from a team that has spent more than a decade working with a range of Linux distributions, including Ubuntu.
Confidence that you can use your Ubuntu 18.04 EOL machines without worrying about emerging cybersecurity threats, thanks to TuxCare’s rapid security updates.

Switching to TuxCare and extending your Ubuntu 18.04 support is simple

In March 2023, you can easily switch patching for your Ubuntu 18.04 servers to TuxCare. All it takes is a single script that activates TuxCare, taking over from Ubuntu’s standard support. You can also choose to create a local mirror for TuxCare’s Ubuntu patches – and it’s simple to do so using rsync.

Components supported by TuxCare ELS

When you sign up for TuxCare Extended Lifecycle Support next March, you’ll get patches for the Ubuntu kernel, Apache, PHP, Glibc, OpenSSL, OpenSSH, and Python packages, as well as others – like...

  • acpid
  • attr
  • info
  • Iptstate
  • gdb
  • glib2
  • bash
  • basesystem
  • authconfig
  • zlib
  • acl
  • dovecot
  • mysql
  • ed
  • gcc
  • lslk
  • blktrace
  • bc
  • device-mapper
  • dhclient
  • dhcpv6
  • dmidecode
  • bzip2
  • busybox
  • bridge-utils
  • userspace packages
  • crash
  • cyrus-imapd
  • cyrus-sasl

… and many others.

Other major Enterprise Linux Distributions
with TuxCare ELS

TuxCare’s Extended Lifecycle Support is also available for CentOS 6, CentOS 7, CentOS 8, Oracle Linux 6,
and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS operating systems.

Extended Lifecycle Support 
for CentOS 8

End of life: December 2021

All the way through January 2026, you can rely on TuxCare for Extended Lifecycle Support that covers your CentOS 8 Linux distributions for kernel updates – so that you have enough time to migrate to another Linux distribution.

Extended Lifecycle Support 
for Oracle Enterprise Linux 6

End of life: March 2021

TuxCare will deliver Extended Lifecycle Support for Oracle Linux 6 right up until December 2024. ELS will save you significantly on costs compared to Oracle Linux’s Premier Support – and gives you the same coverage against critical security vulnerabilities.

Extended Lifecycle Support 
for Ubuntu 16.04

End of life: April 2021

Just like with Ubuntu 18.04 EOL, you can save on costs compared to Ubuntu Advantage for Ubuntu 16.04 when you choose TuxCare Extended Lifecycle Support for ongoing maintenance for Ubuntu 16.04, which will keep you protected for up to 4-7 years past EOL.

Frequently Asked Questions About CentOs 7

Yes, for now. That’s because in the Ubuntu release cycle every Ubuntu LTS release has a fixed support window that lasts for five years.

In the case of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the free support window ends March 2023 when Ubuntu users will no longer receive patches for critical security vulnerabilities – unless they choose to pay for Ubuntu Advantage, which comes at a substantial cost. For many users, this essentially means Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver machines reach end of life in March 2023.

If you’re using Ubuntu 18.04, you need to upgrade to Ubuntu release 20.04 LTS or another distribution as soon as you can, but, as always, rushing a migration is never a good idea. Instead, consider using TuxCare’s Extended Lifecycle Support for Ubuntu 18.04 End of Life, which will give you the time you need to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04.

Yes, and – until March 2023 – nothing will change. After that, any Ubuntu 18.04 machines not switched to a newer version of Ubuntu will lose free support from the Ubuntu team. Servers using Ubuntu 18.04 will continue to work, but the Linux kernel will be vulnerable to threats that emerge after April 2023 because there are no ongoing security updates.

With no vendor security updates forthcoming after March 2023, it’s critical that Ubuntu 18.04 users plan to migrate – or find a partner to extend support until they’re ready to migrate.

Ubuntu Advantage is one of the alternatives, but the price is relatively high, which is not ideal if all you need is patching. TuxCare offers Extended Lifecycle Support that is much more affordable than Ubuntu Advantage: at just $4.50 per instance, you can start protecting Ubuntu 18.04 machines right now.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS released on April 23, 2020, which is called Focal Fossa, and still has several years of ongoing support left with free standard support security updates through April 2025. You have the option to pay for Ubuntu Advantage extended security maintenance through 2030. However, in 2024, you should start planning for a migration for when the next LTS version is released, so that you’re not forced to migrate in a rush.

Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS Bionic Beaver was released on April 26, 2018, in line with the usual Ubuntu release schedule. At release, Ubuntu’s standard support started and you continue to receive security updates for Bionic Beaver right through March 2023.

The next LTS versions of Ubuntu, Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa and Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish, were released on April 23, 2020 and April 21, 2022 respectively.

The Ubuntu release schedule dictates that Ubuntu releases a new long-term support (LTS) release every two years. For example, Bionic Beaver was preceded by Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus in 2016, and before that came Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr, which was released in 2014.

There are also regular Ubuntu interim releases, but these don’t enjoy the full five years of free support given to LTS versions. Only the LTS versions in the release cycle, such as Bionic Beaver, Focal Fossa, and Jammy Jellyfish, get Ubuntu’s standard support – while interim releases only enjoy nine months of support.

For example, while Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri), Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo), and Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) are all production-quality releases, the fact that they’re interim releases and only include a limited support window means that Impish Indri, Hirsute Hippo, and Groovy Gorilla are not fit for enterprise use.

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